August 6, 2008

"For McCain, being cool meant being a rogue, not a policy wonk; but Obama manages to be a cool College Bowl type...."

And it must irk McCain that the cooler cool these days is the nerd cool, says Maureen Dowd. Her column is all about the envy McCain must feel for Obama, but I wanted to focus on the transformation of cool.

Obama is making schoolwork, studying, and showing your braininess cool. That's good for the kids, people.

I love the new Paris Hilton ad — discussed in the previous post — because she — the emblematic airhead — now sees it in her interest to act really smart. She probably is reasonably smart: She's built a very successful career while making it look effortless. It was cool to (seem to) be a big dummy. And she's picked up the new trend: Being openly intelligent.

What a great trend!

99 comments:

Ron said...

mmm...premature on that being a trend, I think. And even if it is, the backlash will be brutal!

Trevor Jackson said...

This fits right in with Obama's comment yesterday that ignoring the benefit of keeping tires inflated reveals the idea's critics' pride in being (or at least pretending to be) ignorant.

evansparks said...

Paris Hilton: sprezzatura.

rdasher said...

Mr O the cool one: "Uh Uh, Uh". Yep he has that down pat.

Pogo said...

"Obama is making schoolwork, studying, and showing your braininess cool."

Very, very doubtful. We'll see how that translates into the real culture. At most, it might cause young men to pull up their pants, but I don't even harbor that level of expectation.

There is a deep mistrust towards intellectuals that I never understood until I got older. Now I get it.

There's a good reason George Orwell remarked that "some things are so stupid, so devoid of reason and sense, that only an intellectual would believe them."

Intellectuals cannot be trusted with leadership. I say that as an intellectual.

As for That's good for the kids, people. Also doubtful. According to Florence King, the animus against nerds only took root in in postwar 1950s high schools, a result of coerced public education, mixing the kids who normally would have stopped school after eighth grade with those who aimed higher. The jock and beauty, those who developed physically much earlier, set the rules. One cool guy changes nothing of the underlying dynamic.

Roger J. said...

I can only hope that when the personnel ax starts falling on the NYT op ed fools, Dowd is the second to go.

Outis said...

Trevor, Obama's tire inflation claim was more than saying that properly inflated tires improve gas mileage. It was that if we did that and tuned up our cars that would save more gasoline than could be obtained from domestic offshore drilling. And THAT concept doesn't hold water.

The fact that Obama can't even seem to understand what the criticism of his comment implies that he isn't just ignorant of what he was saying, but is in fact too stupid to learn. OTOH it could be that he understands but has choosen to lie about it. Neither is particularly flattering, and the second implies that he thinks voters are too stupid to realize that he's lying to them. Apparently some of them are too stupid to realize....

Roger J. said...

Re tire inflation (OT, but I am riffing off Trevor's comment above) Obama is, of course, correct. Proper inflation is important for a whole variety of reasons. Trouble is, how is government going to ensure the nations' drivers check for proper inflation? How many commenters actually carry an accurate tire guage in their car? (raises hand).

The comment about proper inflation suggests to me that Obama has no idea where the boundary between personal responsibility and government is.

Outis said...

Obama is making schoolwork, studying, and showing your braininess cool. That's good for the kids, people.

Doing schoolwork is only good if the schoolwork in question is actually useful. Given some of the mathematics curricula used today it might be better for the children to stay the hell out of the classroom.

AJ Lynch said...

Modo needs to get out more.

And let's debunk Obama's wonkish image using the tire gauge bull:

Obama's claim assumes we all are driving around with poorly inflated tires. The AAA folks say if that is the case, you could save you 3-4% if you inflate properly. But how many of us are driing with poorly inflated tires?

If it is only 10%, the total country's savings is 10% of 3-4% which is only 3/10 of 1%.

So Obama is the one who is full of soup. He is not well informed or highly knowlesgeable at least when it comes to basic arithmetic.

Outis said...

Trouble is, how is government going to ensure the nations' drivers check for proper inflation? How many commenters actually carry an accurate tire guage in their car?

I do carry a tire gauge, and use it regularly. I've had problems with tires in the past so I'm rather careful with mine.

The comment about proper inflation suggests to me that Obama has no idea where the boundary between personal responsibility and government is.

Obama will establish a federal bureau to ensure that everyone inflates their tires properly. Those who don't do so will be sent to Guantanimo Bay. Too good for terrorists, but just right for you slacking assholes who don't inflate your tires properly.

Trevor Jackson said...

Sheesh, you're acting (just as McCain's camp did) like tire pressure is the centerpiece of Obama's energy plan. It's not. It was an off-hand comment about what individuals can do right now to increase our fuel efficiency. Tire pressure = CFLs. Does it make a huge difference? You all want to debate the meaning of the word "huge" rather than accepting the fact that McCain chose to pretend it wouldn't make any difference at all. (until finally forced to admit so today)

I'm sure there are more legitimate criticisms you all can make of his actual plan, but you would rather go for what you think is the low-hanging fruit. It exposes your silliness, not Obama's.

Crimso said...

"And she's picked up the new trend: Being openly intelligent."

Good thing I don't follow the trends.

Roger J. said...

Trevor: chill! Its a comment begging for being made fun of. And the issue is the sheer amount of low hanging fruit provided by the junior senator from Illinois--he's the gift that keeps on giving. And in the event he does become President, he's going to keep the late night comics in material for his entire 8 to 10 years in office!

SteveR said...

How about we mandate the end of self service gas stations so that the friendly guy who come out to fill us up ("regular or ethyl?") would also check our tire pressure? It would create a lot of new jobs and probably not raise the price of gas much. Now that's cool.

You can trust your car to the man who wears the star, the big bright Texaco star

Henry said...

The comment about proper inflation suggests to me that Obama has no idea where the boundary between personal responsibility and government is.

It's Jimmy Carter in the sweater all over again.

I liked Dowd's Pride and Prejudice riff -- even if she got it wrong it was an entertaining diversion -- but her concept of cool is wishful thinking. Obama is cool, but smartness has nothing to do with it. Cool is his temperament.

The weakness of the column shows at the end when Dowd fails to do anything clever with the idea of Steve Schmidt being nicknamed "the bullet" and closes with the cliched phrase "Desperate Straits". Change that to "Dire Straits" and she could have squeezed in one more pop reference. How about:

Schmidt has turned Mr. Straight Talk into Mr. Dire Straits. The sultan of swing is square.

Roger J. said...

And I will make a fearless prediction. This prediction is based on Jules Feiffer's treatment of Jimmy Carter during his presidency. The character kept getting smaller and smaller.

Cartoonists will start with a relatively straightforward caricature of Obama--but as he starts to screw up, which he will because all presidents do, they will start drawing his ears bigger and bigger.

You heard it here first folks.

William said...

Dowd's column is an example of the ignorance that journalists and academics proudly engage in. Dwight Eisenhower managed the victory in Europe and read Zane Grey novels for relaxation. Adlai Stevenson was witty and urbane, and it's a safe bet that he never once read a Zane Grey novel. Since Adlai more closely fit their idea of a smart person, he was portrayed as the brain and Eisenhower as an amiable dunce. As if, as Paris would say.....Landing an aerodynamically unsound machine on the rolling deck of an aircraft carrier shows that McCain is capable of solving real time calculus problems. It's a sign of intelligence although not the kind of intelligence that intellectuals respect. Dowd claims that he got into the Academy as a legacy. Well, ok, but he was alone in the cockpit and family influence did not help him successfully touch down....It's a very fine thing to have family pull counteracting against gravity. The son of Tim Russert got a job that smarter, faster kids would kill for. But in the end his success will depend on his own efforts. (It would be entertaining and edifying if Maureen would do a series of columns on the nefarious effects of nepotism in the journalism business. As if as Paris would say.)

Paul Zrimsek said...

Trouble is, how is government going to ensure the nations' drivers check for proper inflation?

I'm going to try for an exclusive contract to make the "Whip Underinflation Now" buttons.

P. Rich said...

Dowd reads minds, and Althouse along with the resident libs struggles constantly to invent positives about Obama, who regularly demonstrates an absence of intellect. Somehow I'm missing the cool in this scenario.

Susan said...

Paul: LOL

knox said...

Obama is cool, but smartness has nothing to do with it. Cool is his temperament.

I think this is true to some extent: he doesn't get ruffled easily and he's charismatic. But he's a politician through-and-through, and politicians are decidedly uncool... even if they are charming. I think that some conflate Obama's own coolness with the fact that he makes white liberals feel cool just by virtue of endorsing and voting for the black guy. The fact that Hillary was so "establishment" -- and so stiff! -- just makes him that much more cool by default. And of course you don't get any more uncool than McCain.

(Pretty revealing that democrats crave cool, while republicans prefer the antithesis of it. This election is very reminiscent of Clinton v Dole in many ways. Dole was largely ignored by the media as well, for one.)

Pogo said...

Dowd is merely smitten with Obama's looks. The good-looking intellectual type still needs to be good-looking first. The intellectual stuff is just the wrapping. Charming handsome men; who knew women would be attracted to them, and argue that the attraction stems not from beauty's gravity pull, but from some peripheral character trait?

Outis said...

Sheesh, you're acting (just as McCain's camp did) like tire pressure is the centerpiece of Obama's energy plan. It's not. It was an off-hand comment about what individuals can do right now to increase our fuel efficiency. Tire pressure = CFLs. Does it make a huge difference? You all want to debate the meaning of the word "huge" rather than accepting the fact that McCain chose to pretend it wouldn't make any difference at all. (until finally forced to admit so today)

I haven't stated that his tire pressure comment is his entire energy plan. I doubt it is a part of it at all. But here is what Obama actually said:

"Making sure your tires are properly inflated, simple thing, but we could save all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups. You could actually save just as much."

This is an assertion of fact about how big an impact tire inflation and regular tune-ups could make. IT IS WRONG. If Obama is basing his energy policy from this kind of oor intellectual understanding of the topic why should we listen to him?

Also, we don't need to debate the meaning of "huge" because Obama set a lower bound for "huge". This isn't counting angels dancing on the head of a pin, this is a response to his actual statement. Quit trying to obscure that fact.

I'm sure there are more legitimate criticisms you all can make of his actual plan, but you would rather go for what you think is the low-hanging fruit. It exposes your silliness, not Obama's.

Hmm. Obama has said we should drill for oil because we won't see any effects for 7-10 years. He has alsop said that we need an alternative energy program that won't have any effect on prices for at least ten years. That is at the least inconsistent. If a plan must have an effect before seven years to be considered worth doing (which is Obama's assertion) and his plan won't do anything for ten years, then his plan isn't worth shit acccording to his own criteria. That isn't just silliness on Obama's part, that is outright stupidity.

Face it, Obama doesn't know what the hell he is talking about. See for example Obama's assertion in Israel that he is on the Senate Banking Committee for another recent example. Time after time Obama makes statements that either aren't true or are completely silly. Obama isn't just "the gift that keeps on giving" as Roger J. put it, he is a man that makes W. look like a brilliant policy wonk by comparison.

(Also, don't assume that anti-Obama means pro-McCain. I have voted against McCain whenever given the opportunity and will do so again this fall. I'm not voting for either of the major candidates because one is a fool and the other is too authoritarian.)

Outis said...

I'm going to try for an exclusive contract to make the "Whip Underinflation Now" buttons.

Paul, Obama is the unholy lovechild of Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford.

rdasher said...

I'm not voting for either of the major candidates because one is a fool and the other is too authoritarian.

Isn't the one who is a fool also the one who is /authoritarian/ totalitarian? i.e. Obama

Middle Class Guy said...

"Obama is making schoolwork, studying, and showing your braininess cool. That's good for the kids, people."


Unlike the vast majority of politicians of both parties. Obama is living proof that if you play by the rules, work and study hard, you will be a success. Though I may not agree with many of his positions I do feel he is genuine in this.

Who is Paris Hilton again?

Middle Class Guy said...

William said...
(It would be entertaining and edifying if Maureen would do a series of columns on the nefarious effects of nepotism in the journalism business. As if as Paris would say.)


She would have to start with her own family. She is a legacy reporter.

reader_iam said...

LOL! I was trying to figure out why the hell people were coming over to my quasi-blog to a link-post about grade school math methodologies from a post labeled for-mccain-being-cool-meant-being-roque.html ... and I find this.

Again: LOL!

Helluva lot more fun than putting together the curriculum/lesson plan etc. documentation required by the state of Iowa to convince them I'm capable of teaching my 8-year old, I'll say that.

Outis, I really did get you going, didn't i?

; ) xxoo

reader_iam said...

And he hasn’t paid his dues in the Senate, since he basically just stopped by for directions to the Oval Office.

I do rather like that line of Dowd's.

al said...

Unlike the vast majority of politicians of both parties. Obama is living proof that if you play by the rules, work and study hard, you will be a success.

It helps if you can get the local media to convince a judge to open sealed divorce papers to destroy your opponents candidacy shortly before the general election as well...

reader_iam said...

As for braininess being the new cool, I dunno. Long-established pecking orders and childhood-teenhood patterns die hard.

I think "rogues," or at least the non-overtly, nerdy brainy, will continue to rule the day, and the schoolyard, in most cases for the foreseeable future.

'Course, national politics is not most cases, nor even a schoolyard, though some days it sure seems like that.

vbspurs said...

Oh please. Obama only passes for cool.

1- Because he's black and being black today is cooler (more gangsta) than being white.

2- His intellectualism is liked by some because he's the antidote to 8 years of George W. Bush. He wouldn't have stood a chance if his predecessor had been Woodrow Wilson or JFK. Americans like pendulum effects in their presidents. If he's elected, you can make sure a downhome guy will follow.

Andrew Romano of Newsweek summed up his bicycle fashion faux-pas by saying, "Could Barack Obama actually be--gasp!--uncool?".

That presupposes he ever was.

Cheers,
Victoria

Bissage said...

Whip Underinflation Now.

Excellent!

Chip Ahoy said...

*raises hand, waves wildly*

I have three tire gauges of different types. (I have a problem with trust since I can't get thermometers to agree and radials always look a little flat). Obama is absolutely right, proper tire inflation is part of the solution. I'm surprised P. Hilton's writers left that out of her script. But it's such a minute portion of the ultimate set of solutions that it's ridiculous to posit it as a major portion, one that can substitute for drilling, shale, nuclear, wind, solar, thermal, oceanic wave motion, hydrogen, algae, bacteria on garbage, and whatever else you can imagine. I'm certain, that he's certain, that the mechanics are certain, the tires on the jumbo jet with unsecured leather seats emblazoned with the word "president" that he's flying around the world in are properly inflated. And the truck that takes those mechanics out on the tarmac to check those tires on that jet itself has properly inflated tires. And that the mechanics in charge of the line of limousines required to get him to the airport have ensured all the tires are properly inflated and that their own personal automobiles that got them to work all have properly inflated tires. That's a lot of proper air pressure to monitor, which changes as the temperature changes.

The last three times I put air in my tires someone hastened over to take the hose out of my hand. Do I look like that big of a spaz or what? The last time, I overheard a woman waiting in her car and observing say to her teenage son, "Go over there and help that man." ? ¿ ? ¿ ? Yo no lo comprendo.

reader_iam said...

Enough with the tire gauge/pressure stuff! The content-sensitive Google ads popping up in my gmail window due to responses related to this Althouse thread are getting exceptionally boring today! I already have tire gauges!

; )

Pogo said...

Pump it up when you don't really need it.
Pump it up until you can feel it.

Pump It Up
Elvis Costello

... said...

I wish Obama energy policy was just "inflate your tires" ... instead he wants to tax "windfall profits" ... didn't that kind of not work so well for Carter and America in the 70's ?

Basic economics are obviously beyond his "experience" ...

Joseph said...

Which one is in favor of the energy source discovered and maintained by nerds (i.e., nukes)?

Outis said...

Outis, I really did get you going, didn't i?

You really did! If my Mom wasn't visiting today I'd be writing up a storm. I hope I still have the motivation after she leaves.

Dave said...

Unfortunately, "inflate your tires" is the smartest part of Obama's energy policy. Just about everything else seems designed to reduce the amount of energy available.

Paul Zrimsek said...

In addition to getting regular tune-ups done on your flivver, you should also sand and varnish the wheel spokes to cut wind resistance, and make sure the rumble seat is closed when no one's riding in it.

submandave said...

Back to the "smart is the new cool" theme, this trend has been going on for some time following what I felt to be a low point in the Carter administration. I remember how Convoy, B.J and the Bear and Movin' On had 70% of my entire 6th grade class at a private prep school discussing the finer distinctions between Kenworths and cab-over Peterbilts. A society of Bandits does not last long.

OldGrouchy said...

Well, Paris seems to be more in tune with the facts than the Big O! Too bad she's too young to be qualified!

JBlog said...

Wait for it...wait for it...any moment now someone will claim that criticizing Obama's remarks about tire inflation is RACIST!

Here, precisely, is what Obama said (as reported by the AP):
"Making sure your tires are properly inflated, simple thing, but we could save all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tuneups," Obama said. "You could actually save just as much."

Tire inflation will save AS MUCH oil as we'd get from offshore drilling. Uh huh.

On it's face, that remark is idiotic, and worthy of the ridicule it is receiving from the McCain camp.

It is certainly not what you would expect from the candidate who is alleged to be the intellectual superior of, well, everyone.

Good Lieutenant said...

Hmm. I never would have guessed, reading the mind-numbing vapidity of his supporters' comments on the Internet and hearing them try to convince me to vote for "hope" and "change" while screaming about "McSame/McOld/McBush/McLame/McCrazy/Mc(fill in the blank with random insult)."

I'm not sure what the kids are getting out of this guy, but it isn't "smarts."

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Reader_iam writes: Enough with the tire gauge/pressure stuff!

Rage against the gauge!

wanderlust747 said...

excusing all of your mistakes as "inartful", blaming your staff for every clusterfuck, and having a 5 minute explanation for why he doesn't wear flag pins is your definition of a cool college bowl type?

if you want policy wonk, dial back to hillary. i agree that barack looks more collegial than mccain, but i'm not sure if that's an advantage (see 'elitist' tag).

also, a typical obama young'un showing his 'braininess':
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/08/a-coif-you-can.html

Outis said...

Wait for it...wait for it...any moment now someone will claim that criticizing Obama's remarks about tire inflation is RACIST!

Well, you know, TIRES are black, sometimes with a little bit of white - just like Obama!

(At least it makes more sense that Bob Herberts' dumbassed rant.)

Roger J. said...

I think there's a fortune to be made selling tire pressure gauges to republicans to wave at Obama rallies!

Even the WaPo thought his releasing the strategic reserve and windfall profits taxes were foolish. While McCain admits to not knowing about economics, clearly Obama doesnt have a handle on it either. And his sense of history is suspect considering the last change agent tried that in 1980 and it failed miserably.

Jakester said...

The people who are cutting Obama up over his tire inflation and tune up suggestion are just petty, mean and stupid as only a dedicated right wing pit bull can be. Obama never said this was the centerpiece of his energy plan and had no government policy plans to that effect. He wanted to use his publicity to encourage people to do things on their own to help. What if 100 people found they had low or bad tires and fixed the problem and avoided a potentially fatal accident? Wouldn't that be good that it took only someone's suggestion to avoid the accident? What bad can come out of checking and filling your tires? Only a pencil neck Hannity type geek can tease malevolence out of that.

Jakester said...

We all know how collegiate and intellectual MCCain is hanging with fat lowlife bikers and offering to put his wife into a topless beauty contest against them. Real class and intelligence isthere at Sturgis.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jody said...

As a literal College Bowl type (though if I'm cool or not, I don't know, I'll assume "not cool"), it is sad that "College Bowl cool" has come into its own shortly after College Bowl effectively ceased to be. (see their home page)

JBlog said...

"The people who are cutting Obama up over his tire inflation and tune up suggestion are just petty, mean and stupid as only a dedicated right wing pit bull can be. Obama never said this was the centerpiece of his energy plan and had no government policy plans to that effect. He wanted to use his publicity to encourage people to do things on their own to help. What if 100 people found they had low or bad tires and fixed the problem and avoided a potentially fatal accident? Wouldn't that be good that it took only someone's suggestion to avoid the accident? What bad can come out of checking and filling your tires? Only a pencil neck Hannity type geek can tease malevolence out of that."

There you have it, folks -- a perfect example or the moral and intellectual superiority of your average Obama supporter.

Oh c'mon, Jakester -- PLEASE call us a bunch of racists. Pretty, pretty please. With sugar on top. And sprinkles.

Roger J. said...

The Obamabots strike.

Jakester: I thought you guys were the reality based community. You are getting tripped up in Obama memes: McCain was at the bottom of his class at USNA--he's not an intellectual--remember?

No one is saying pressure gauges were the centerpiece of his economic plan--The Washington Post already did a dance on the center pieces of his energy plan, and actually Obama would do better sticking with tire gauges and tune-ups.

And your post did pique my curiosity--just how many accidents a year are caused by tire underinflation?

You dont own a Harley either--that much is quite obvious; or is it just your own belief that all bikers who go to sturgis are lowlifes--Might want to take a look at who is buying Harleys these days.

Beldar said...

I'm not sure of all the other political calculations that went into the Paris Hilton video, but one that I am sure of is this: She's shown reading a magazine (supposedly to find the best place to tan — "Maui!" she exclaims), and does so without moving her lips.

Now, I have no opinion whether when not on camera, Ms. Hilton moves her lips when she reads. It wouldn't surprise me either way, just as it wouldn't surprise me if she reads a lot or just a little. As Prof. A points out, her public persona has always been calculated by someone, and it doesn't necessarily bear much correlation to reality.

Roger J. said...

This is also going to shock you jakester: most guys who go to Sturgis tow their bikes behind their SUVs and trucks.

Jakester said...

jblog, , where did I say I supported Obama, cause I don't. But I don't need to he a little pig like your ilk and make a mountain out of a molehill. No one can come up with any meaningful stats about accidents avoided by checking the tires due to Obama's speech. But to dwell on fake ugly negatives conjured up by ugly minds about it are petty, dishonest and convince no one. It is just a in-group jerkov putdown that makes the ingroup sound really petty and stupid.

Sorry if I sound a bit superior to some of you, the fact is many of you are just jerks and bullies, so I am. As far as bikers go, true most of them aren't lowlifes, like most rap types, they are lowlife wannabees. Rap is to black what biker is to whites; macho lowlife posturing. I live on a busy US highway and I am sick of selfish inconsiderate slobs blasting us all with their loud exhausts or boom box cars. Freedom doesn;t mean you can annoy others with loud noises.

Roger J. said...

Jakester--you dont sound superior at all--In fact, quite the opposite.

Beldar said...

For what it's worth, my thirteen year old daughter was looking at the cover of my copy of McCain's family memoir, "Faith of My Fathers," which has a sepia-toned photo of his father and grandfather in service khakis standing together on the deck of a ship, and next to that a shot of McCain in his flight suit and parachute rigging, probably circa 1967 aboard an aircraft carrier.

"Hmmm," she said. "Hmmm what?" I asked? "I hate to say it, she said" -- my daughter already being a committed Democrat, like my ex -- "but when McCain was young, he was actually pretty hot."

"Oh yeah," I said, "very James Dean, very much the bad boy who's good at heart, and very much a rule-breaker."

"Hmmmmmm," she said again.

Roger J. said...

Jakester: yet another shock for you: there are black biker groups (try buffalo soldiers named for the 10th cavalry)--or better yet, move to Memphis or most other large southern cities and see real life black dudes wearing colors on real life Harleys--My god, man--you are genuinely provincial! Theres a whole world out there that you apparently don't know much about!

Seven Machos said...

Jakester is hilarious provided that the posts are subtle hoaxes designed to provoke.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Obama played by the rules, worked and studied hard? Are we sure of this? The schools he went to are the primary evidence of this. He displays the social signals of one sort of intellectual, but I have yet to see him demonstrate any variety of high intelligence. He seems rather average in raw brain power.

JBlog said...

"jblog, , where did I say I supported Obama, cause I don't. But I don't need to he a little pig like your ilk and make a mountain out of a molehill."

My mistake -- I didn't realize that you're a freelance imbecile.

My apologies to Obama supporters everywhere -- the worst of you couldn't possibly be as clueless and obnoxious as this bedwetter.

Jakester said...

Roger, guess I am really provincial cause I didn't mention black bikers or white rappers. Just can't compete on your level of kindness, intelligence and worldliness.

But to get back at this petty meanspirited chorus of ugliness about tire inflation, if one accident or 100 barrels of oil were avoided because of what he said, it would be good. He is not proposing anything that would cost anything in the way of laws, taxes or another gov't bureau. So please tell me, why is it so horrible?

JBlog, your are the epitome of a right wing blogger: a conformist, bully and small mind. Keep up the pettiness and smugness borne out of spite!

M. Simon said...

Wouldn't that be good that it took only someone's suggestion to avoid the accident?

The best way to avid a huge accident is to avoid voting for Obama.

Bernard said...

"Schoolwork, studying, and showing your braininess"? As my teenager would say, "Chuh!"

Apparently BO's course of study has added a few extra states to the Union, while missing the geography of "those states in the middle"; skimmed the civics lesson about that fuzzy line between Senate Bills and Senate Committees; left out a lot of that World War Two stuff (who knew that Auschwitz place was in Poland?); left out a lot of that Sixties stuff (who _knew_ that Ayers guy was a bomber?); the Cold War stuff (Kennedy and Khruschev were BFFs, right?); and, oh yeah, someone shoulda told him the Law Review Editor was supposed to write something....

And now he is so clueless he doesn't even realize that the discussion about outer continental shelf drilling is about MORE than a 1% increment in our crude oil supply. That's the real import of his ongoing gaffe.

I come to the opposite conclusion -- his success, DESPITE a failure to understand history, civics, geography, and even simple arithmetic sends the message to our children that those things aren't important. Which makes him the perfect lightweight for our times. Where do I get one of those ballot thingies?

Jakester said...

:The best way to avid a huge accident is to avoid voting for Obama.:
Once again, you make my point. If one accident was avoided by people checking their tires, then Obama deserves an apology over this crap.

M. Simon said...

As far as bikers go, true most of them aren't lowlifes, like most rap types, they are lowlife wannabees.

In my youth living in the SF Bay area. I had a 650 Triumph (Lucas electrics, ugh). When ever I was broke down at the side of the road I hardly had to wait long before a Hells Angel stopped and asked if I needed help. Never got that kind of service from the minions of civilization. And the Angels were universally polite.

Jakester said...

bernard
Would Bush or McCain do any better in some exam you would cook up? Isn't this why they have advisors and aides?

Palladian said...

"Freedom doesn;t mean you can annoy others with loud noises"

LOL. Have you ever lived in a black or Latino neighborhood? You think that "bikers" are loud and young male rap fans are quiet?

M. Simon said...

jakester,

Lighten up man. Humorlessness is so unappealing.

Palladian said...

"Coolness" and "sense of humor" are rarely compatible. Coolness requires detachment. Sense of humor requires iconoclasm. Iconoclasts are not allowed in the Temple of Obama, lest they break the delicate idol contained within.

Jakester said...

"Never got that kind of service from the minions of civilization. And the Angels were universally polite."

Oh yes, universally polite and helpful; people said the same thing about the Nation of Islam, the Taliban, the Chinese Communists, even the SS. So let's trash society and civilization and let biker gangs rule, that should be better. We all know that the Hells Angels had deep roots in organized crime and random violence. Yet since they helped you a couple of times, that should be ignored. I've helped plenty of people on the road too, do I get your respect now? They murdered and raped a few people in my area, as well as ran drugs, and the few that I came across were hardly polite, but you are so much more worldly than dumb old upstate NY I.

knox said...

But to get back at this petty meanspirited chorus of ugliness about tire inflation

Winner: most unexpected combination of words ever.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If you think we're ugly about tire inflation, just wait until after the conventions. We've got a Swift Boat-type organization spooling up to spread some serious hate-filled lies about rotation and balancing. By late October, expect to see the occasional front-end-alignment-related lynching.

Dogwood said...

Jakester,

Obama made a factually incorrect statement regarding the amount of oil that could be saved by properly inflating our tires.

We are allowed to hold him accountable and yes, that includes mocking the boy.

OldGrouchy said...

Tune ups? What tune ups? I ain't getting no tune up for my ancient rust bucket cuz it's got one of them there computer thingys adjusting fuel mixtures and what evers.

Jeez, why not bring back everything from the 70's and 60's so the Big O is really comfortable. Do away with programmable thermostats and climate controlled systems, just sit out on the porch and sweat!

Oh, and don't eat too much or else Mrs. M O will get you; she wants your soul too.

DaveS said...

I think Obama comes off not so much "brainy" as "preacher-y". I am, thus far, underwhelmed by his apparent knowledge of most of the things we are talking about these days.

blake said...

Zrimsek @ 5:09 made me glad I wasn't drinking anything.

blake said...

I'm not voting for either of the major candidates because one is a fool and the other is too authoritarian

[<--Is now going to be up all night wondering which is which...]

blake said...

What's with all the biker hate? I was thinking about that today because I always thought bikers epitomized a form of the American spirit.

Rebels, non-conformists (well, to mainstream society, they have their own conformity), freedom loving...low class? No, classless! It's all about the bikes, man!

Am I just hearing it because McCain is hanging out with them? 'cause that kind of sucks.

I suspect his affinity for them is quite genuine.

SCMtns66 said...

Obama supposed intelligence is another urban legend created by the MSM. The only criteria for the liberal media to show your higher intellect is have a (D) beside your name. When was the last time when a Presidential campaign storyline the neaderthal Republican vs the brilliant new-age Democrat. Hell they even tried with John Kerry.

Only a liberal could say something as stupid as Obama's tire pressure policy and get TIME, NY Times and other otherwise non-idiotic journalist jumping thru hoops to somehow try to make it less idiotic.

Can't we all imagine the endless mocking of the "uncaring" McCain by the "tingle-brigade", if he indicated that Americans should just get over it and inflate their tires if they don't like high gas prizes.

If you really want to stump a Obama-bot, get them to explain how Obama plans to add 1 MILLION new "electric" cars to the power grid + plus all the new infrastructure that would require heavy machinery which can only run on diesel, and also cut our use of electricity by 15%?

Let me just say that he had better be the "Messiah" because that was the last person who could such miracles.

Cedarford said...

Pogo - Intellectuals cannot be trusted with leadership. I say that as an intellectual.

Depends. At a time of trememdous change, bona fide intellectuals have sometimes arisen as the superb leaders who set the templates society runs off of. Think Caesar Augustus, Disraeli, Lee Kwan Yew, the 3 great Meiji intellectual-princes. Otto von Bismark. George Marshall. Jefferson. Lincoln..Alexander hamilton. Nixon, for all his flaws. Vlascev Havel.

Subtract obvious intellectual disasters like Marx, Lenin, Woodrow Wilson, Newt Gingrich, Robert S McNamara, Herbert Hoover.

Also subtract the poseurs that their supporters claim are great intellectuals but they are not. Like Gore, Kerry, and the usual candidate claimed to have great genius just from being Democrat. And similarly, all those "great wise black men" of modest intellectual capacity like Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and MLK who are credited with super-human intelect merely by being "a famous black leader."

You also have brilliant people who put their intellect not in being intellectuals, but in making money and in tactics in politics. Very thin on theory or pushing long-term vision or policy. People like Bill Clinton.

But - even after subtracting the bad wonks and the brilliant non-intellectual leaders - it is still better to have a smart leader with long-range ideological vision - than a stupid or middlebrow one.

=====================
Paul Zrimsek said...
If you think we're ugly about tire inflation, just wait until after the conventions. We've got a Swift Boat-type organization spooling up to spread some serious hate-filled lies about rotation and balancing.


Jakester would NOT find what you said funny, Paul. He's serious as shit, dammit!

==================
M Simon - I had a Trident. But my encounter with the Hell's Angels, while positive, was me helping a guy who took a bad spill out in San Berdoo. Pre-cell phone days. We stopped and helped stop his leg bleeding from a patch the size of a saucer worn down to muscle tissue. His colors jacket seemed to take the worst of it other than a chewed-up ear. Took him to the hospital after loading his bike into the pickup truck. Heavy MF'ing flathead Harley. Angel biker was lifting his side of the end with one arm and big gut. "Man! Are you that strong?" "Nah, my other arms broken."
At the hospital, he called his buds.
They showed up with a case of Budweiser and several gang bitches who cleaned all the biker blood out of my truck as we drank a few in the parking lot. Real badass guys but with a Code and I had no problem leaving my motor mouth GF with them while we checked on the guy inside. About half turned out to be military vets. Pretty smart..and they were businessmen.

In fact, if I end up older AND mostly deaf, and drugs are finally legalized so the hardcore shooting wars end with the biker rivals - I'd be happy with a few as neighbors. For now, though, just too damn loud bikes at all hours of the day.

AST said...

I never got the generation gap. The stuff I thought was stupid when I was a teenager still look stupid. And Obama has never looked all that brainy to me. In fact, besides being reflexively liberal, he's a walking endorsement for what's wrong with affirmative action.

OldGrouchy said...

Wait until there's a GNC powered trucker accident where south bound I5 meets south bound I405. There'll be major changes to the structures in the area.

Might result in a push to convert back to diesel.

Of course, if trucks are instead converted to be hybrids, those truckers probably would be short-haulers and maybe we'd need to have more railroad flatcars.

Wonder what the cost of veggies and electronics will be then?

somefeller said...

Intellectuals cannot be trusted with leadership. I say that as an intellectual.

Is it ever good form to refer to oneself as an intellectual? That seems like one of those terms that are best used in describing other people (like beautiful, sexy, cool, moral, ethical), but are generally not words one would use to describe oneself.

Patm said...

"Obama is making schoolwork, studying, and showing your braininess cool."

That might be the most pathetic thing I've ever read. Dowd is at her worst when she is simpering and in love.

Revenant said...

Every four years we're told what an unusually brilliant man the Democratic candidate is. We're not usually told that this is "cool", too, though. So... that's original, I guess.

Daryl said...

Intellectuals cannot be trusted with leadership. I say that as an intellectual.

I could be trusted with absolute power.

But give me anything less than 70%, and I'd probably just f--- everything up.

Jim C. said...

"And it must irk McCain that the cooler cool these days is the nerd cool, says Maureen Dowd. Her column is all about the envy McCain must feel for Obama, but I wanted to focus on the transformation of cool.

Obama is making schoolwork, studying, and showing your braininess cool. That's good for the kids, people."

I think proclaiming a transformation is WAY premature. Obama isn't cool because he's brainy. He's cool almost in spite of the fact he's brainy. He's like Stefan Urquelle. Urkel is still SOL.

And Obama's braininess isn't in science or math, either, so there's no effect in those areas.

vbspurs said...

I'm not sure what the kids are getting out of this guy, but it isn't "smarts."

I dunno. It's kinda "smarts".

BTW, this reminds me to comment belatedly on Ann's "fortnight" dismissal.

It sounded almost like a Bill O'Reillyism, that judgement, you know?

He always signs off his programme by using "a big word" like truculent or bloviate (which actually has become a part of normal every day talk, much more than truthiness).

The thing is, part of him, that Long Island wannabe blue-collar part, is making fun of people who use these kinds of words. Putting on airs like this doesn't go down well with the folks.

Yet, he also is genuinely amused by such words, and does his best to popularise them.

If McCain were to use truculent in a sentence during a debate, no one would blink.

The interesting phenomenon in this campaign is that the younger Obama can say such words with impunity, and still be thought of as cool by a lot of people.

Cheers,
Victoria

amba said...

Self-hating intellectual, eh, Pogo?

amba said...

What does government have to do with tire inflation? If people become convinced that inflating their tires properly will save them a noticeable amount of money, they'll get a good tire gauge and learn how to use it. If not, not. It's of a piece with all the other driving strategies that are being talked about to increase gas mileage. It's the economy, stupid.

amba said...

By the same token, can anyone convince me that offshore drilling will make an appreciable difference in oil prices any time soon?

blake said...

By the same token, can anyone convince me that offshore drilling will make an appreciable difference in oil prices any time soon?

Dunno, but I'll take a crack.

Prices of commodities are not based not solely on what current levels of production are, but what future levels of production are expected to be. The price is driven upwards as long as people think that, in the future, that price will be met.

Therefore, all you have to do is threaten the safety of that decision, and oil prices will go down.

Oil prices have been dropping since Bush rescinded the executive ban on offshore drilling. (Might be coincidental, of course, but it wasn't a surprise.)

Politicians taking a hard line on drilling are also taking a shellacking. ($4/gallon is the price America will trade for its green bona fides.)

Alternatives are threatening to come on line, just as happened in the '70s. If we start tapping the trillion-odd barrels of shale in the Rockies, that's gonna hurt the price of oil. (I gotta believe a lot of current producers don't want that genie out of the bottle.)

All these things suggest strongly that betting on perpetually increasing oil prices is a bad idea.

Anyway, anything you do to encourage the notion right now that supply will increase is going to depress the price of oil right now.

knox said...

Every four years we're told what an unusually brilliant man the Democratic candidate is.

No kidding. If you say it enough times, it becomes true?

SGT Ted said...

I know this ain't PC, but if Obama wasn't running as a Democrat, he wouldn't be considered "cool". He would be considered the Republicans House Nigger, just like Condoleesa Rice.